Three days after being nominated for Dronacharya award, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has ordered to withdraw the name of Heera Nand Kataria’s recommendation for the prestigious honour.
Kataria was recommended by a committee headed by former shuttler Pullela Gopichand. The recommendations were also approved by Sports Minister Vijay Goel.
It has been reported that Kataria, chosen by the selection panel for his contribution in kabaddi, is a joint secretary of the Wushu Association of India and the kabaddi players and coaches have expressed surprise over his selection. The kabaddi players have also reportedly claimed that they have no idea who Kataraia was.
However, the Sports Ministry has now decided to put Kataria’s recommendation on hold following a controversy that erupted over his candidature.
To that Goel told, that the Sports Ministry had received a lot of criticisms about Heera Nand, which provoked them to take the decision. “We had received a lot of complaints against Heera Nand. Generally, we follow a procedure that the name which the committee recommends we go by that. I feel somewhere there was a mistake by the committee. When I got to know about this, I decided to keep his award on hold unless we completely investigate the matter. We have taken the decision that he won’t be getting the award on August 29.”
This year’s awards announcement has been dogged by controversies, with weight-lifter Sanjita Chanu and basketball player P Anitha have already approached judiciary after being overlooked for Arjuna award.
All 17 Arjuna awardees and two Khel Ratna nominees will be conferred with the award on August 29, observed as National Sports Day, at the Rashtrapati Bhawan.